When you’re in high school or in your first year of college, everybody expects you to know what you want to do with your life and honestly, it’s perfectly fine if you have no idea what you want to do.
I turn 25 in June and I didn’t know what I wanted to do until last year in May, so almost one year ago when I figured out what I wanted to study. I took semesters off to figure out what I wanted to study. I kept changing my major because I couldn’t fully commit to a program.
Photo: Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Whether you’re a senior in high school or already in school, it’s okay to not know what to do with your life. Society gives us this misconception that we should already know what we want to do with our life since we were in middle school.
I wasn’t one of those people who knew what I wanted to do at 10. I have friends who have known they wanted to be a nurse or a teacher at the age of 10 and grew up majoring in this field and having a job in this field after. That’s perfectly fine but it’s also fine to not know what you want to do either.
Many people think they have to pick one thing to study and work in that field forever. That’s not true. This often doesn’t get spoken up in high school (or at least when I was in high school) but people often change their careers numerous times in their lives before they are fully satisfied. If you’re afraid to pick a program and work in that field, that is absolutely fine.
One thing you should know is that there are numerous people in the same boat. Don’t feel like you’re the only one who has no idea what they want to do with their life. I felt this way because almost all of my friends knew what they wanted to do and I felt like the oddball out. It’s normal to not know what to do with your life.
Some of my coworkers didn’t even go to college right after high school and figured out what they wanted to do with their lives just recently. One of my coworkers is almost 30 and realized her passion to teach and is currently in school studying for it. If you’re in high school or even college, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Some of my coworkers even told me that they changed their careers a few times before they finally settled. So if you’re stressed about choosing a program because you’re not sure if you can picture yourself working the same career for the rest of your life, that’s fine!
It’s normal to change careers. It’s normal to realize that you’re not happy with your program anymore. It’s normal to change your mind.
Once, my professor told me that in life, people change their career every 3-5 years. So if you’re in school studying nursing and you’re not sure if that’s what you want to do with the rest of your life, that’s fine. If you change your program or your career later on in life, that’s fine.
Society makes us believe that we have to know what we want to do with our life at a young age. They make it seem like if we don’t have our life figured out, then it’s downhill from us. Society never talks about all the people who continuously change their programs in college or the people who switch careers every few years.
If you have no idea what you want to do with your life, that’s perfectly fine. It’s okay to take classes in different fields to dip your feet in. It’s okay to graduate with a certain program and then have a career in something completely different.
In life, you should do what makes you happy and if you have no idea what you want to do, then take your time until you figure things out. Work a few different jobs, volunteer at places you never would, take classes outside your comfort zone – whatever you do, it’s fine to not know what you want to do with your life.
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.